Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coping With Kundalini

With kundalini, you soon see how everything is connected.  You feel it.  You might even feel yourself becoming it.  The physical body is caught up in this trans-formative process, and there are some very physical things you can do to make its presence in your body easier to deal with.

I think that it depends on where you are in your process.  I lived with kundalini for about four years before things began to get difficult.  I certainly had some difficulty before then, but nothing compared to when I began to question my experience, which led to a deepening of the energy within me and this highlighted the issues within that had lain more dormant as the energy seemed to have a place to reside, but was, I think, coming up against strong internal resistance on my part, albeit subconscious in many ways, against its going deeper.  When I began to work on loosening blocks in a much more conscious way, life became very difficult because the inrush of kundalini through all these knots made things very painful.  I think its possible to live with kundalini but have its energy only go so far.  Its as though it wont go where it is not welcomed, and while some would see the coming of kundalini as nothing they ever asked for, it is my feeling that on a deeper level it was most certainly bidden, and if you consider that there was something moving deeper within you that did bring this on, you are in a better position to begin to consider why this is so, and to feel less like a victim of this torrential energy and more as someone who has just awakened and is now growing up, so to speak.  I know that when I ask the energy to come on stronger in order to do some work, it does.  Sometimes it feels like it is kicking my behind, but I know that this pain or difficulty is merely lack of alignment to its perfect energy. I know that I did not have the trouble with adrenaline until I began working to remove blocks.  Only then did adrenaline rev up like nobodies business. 

The effect that this has on the adrenals and kidneys is very real.  Some can suffer adrenal burn-out, and having adrenaline pumping through you in this way can be very wearing on the body.  This can be part of the trial by "fire" that many talk about. But one thing is for sure; for as hard as this part of the journey was, it taught me come hell or high water how to be the captain of my own ship, which meant learning how to flush out latent fear in my body and soul and to get a grip on my physiology and actually learn to control it.  Your body will mirror your feelings perfectly, but in awakening, you might be a few steps behind what your body is trying to tell you by having anxiety or fear or adrenaline going full tilt.  Consider that kundalini IS a few steps ahead of you and is trying to tell you something.  the adrenaline side of this experience, when it winds up being a daily phenomenon until it finally gets resolved can be incredibly trying.  Maddening, even.  But if you have encountered this, you are not alone and it IS possible to get through it.  Many have, and you now have it in you to do so also, if there is stored fear in you somewhere.  I do suggest surrounding you with people who either understand you very well or who love you unconditionally and regardless of whether they understand or even KNOW what this kundalini is all about, are willing to be there to help you talk you down out of a tree when you need it, if you need it.  Sometimes the best thing that you can do is listen to a great joke or blow off steam in moments like these.  If it feels like you have been gritting your teeth for the last week and a half, its time to do something that will break this cycle and focus you in a different way.  there is something that some call kundalini syndrome and it has resulted in some people kind of losing it.  You have to stick with this and work through it in order to dredge the latent material in your psyche.  It is curious because its less about chucking something out the door as its simply not mattering anymore.  More on this towards the end....

Listen to what your body is telling you.  If you are not hungry, eat when you are hungry. If you are a strict vegetarian and feel an urge to eat meat, this is not something you should ignore.  If you can't bring yourself to eat meat, at the very least look into what it is your body is craving and seek to supply it in other ways if you can. Some foods I have found that have been very calming have been curry, cantaloupe, and eggs have been a very good "smooth" form of protein that I do not have many reactions to. I have read that any kind of melon can have a calming effect.  I often have issues with meat sometimes, especially beef.  Not always. We pump all kinds of things into these animals and we do not have good ways of slaughtering them. All of this can be felt in the heightened state of kundalini. Soy has estrogenic compounds in it, but Mung beans are almost as high in protein as soy without these compounds which might have a calming effect, and they might also have the effect of working against your own hormonal output. I have found that greek yoghurt, while higher in fat than other yoghurt, it also has a lot of protein too and tends to stick with you.  Peanut butter has been a staple for a morning meal on toast and is something that can stick with you if you want to stay away from meat.

  To this end, there are things you can do to help support your body during this time.  One of these is simple, but very useful.  Its exercise.  Some have said that exercise can make it worse, but my experience has been that it helped to burn adrenaline at a critical time when I was in a kind of misery physically.  If this get to this point, strong exercise can do the job.  Realize, the reason why there is so much adrenaline is because of fear rising to the surface.  This is not JUST a physical effect, but one brought on by kundalini pushing fear out of your subconscious self into waking consciousness.  As hard as that is, it is what Kundalini will do.  It is a very hard blessing because it will clear you out in the end.  When I say exercise, it may need to be strong exercise in order to burn off the adrenaline.  Understand that adrenaline is there to power your muscles.  So power it.  The adrenaline comes in proportion to the presence of fear that has long been suppressed. During some of the hardest times with this, I had a bicycle that I would ride.  My bike is a mountain bike, so I took it off-road and rode up and down grassy hills around parks and in natural locations.  Instead of feeling totally jazzed, I felt a measure of peace after these rides.  This is of course a stop-gap measure, but if this is a big issue, a painful one, then for the time being exercise that will get your heart rate up will most likely be the best.  The other side of this is learning to deal with the fear, which I will get to later.

One thing that was pointed out to me by a friend who had lived with kundalini her whole life and who was educated in eastern practices, was how the eastern cultures tend to have an alkalizing diet.  It is in these cultures that there seems to be the greatest awareness off and perhaps incidence of awakenings.  Is it possible that the by products of adrenaline,the fight or flight end of our experience, creates compounds in the body that serve to keep it in a frightened state?  A kind of chemical reminder that we are still very much swimming in the chemical soup of fear and the shadow side of ourselves?  Alkalizing the body serves to actually change the body from acid to alkaline.  Its totally unintuitive, but the results are that it does.  One way that I introduced this into my day to day regimen was to put two teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar in water.  I eventually got to a place where I would just quaff a tablespoon of it straight with a good dose of water to chase it down. I tried to do this twice a day.  Another way would be to use lemon juice.  You can also make sure that you eat salads that have vinegar in them as well.  One things you will need to watch is how it might effect your digestion.  Normally stomach acid is very strong, but in some people who have problems with acid reflux, making sure you don't aggravate your condition with the addition of more acid could be something worth considering.  The other side of this was how to help the kidneys, because it is the kidneys that are involved in the production of adrenaline.  One very good tonic is organic wild cherry juice.  It can be had as a concentrate added in the same way to water as the vinegar.  Take a few times each week, it is supposed to help support the kidneys.  At the core of this, though, is learning how to deal with adrenaline.

I am of the opinion that the reason why the adrenaline is there in the first place is because of an unresolved issue concerning fear.  Kundalini highlights this and builds on it in a kind of unmerciful way where everything is put under the spot light so WE SEE IT instead of just shoving it down.  We may not even know WHY we are shuddering from the adrenaline and having such a hard time of it, but I do believe that the whole purpose of the adrenaline syndrome is to learn how to transform or transmute it in the body.  This is huge.   HUGE.  Being able to figure out intuitively how to change this set up in your body, this end of the chemistry is a form of spiritual alchemy.  We can analyze it all we want, but ultimately it requires an ability to gain some control over our bodies and how they react to this chemistry.  Adrenaline, I suspect, is only part of the story.  In fact, I believe that my bliss is not simply a dopamine/serotonin cycle but a cycle of adrenaline as well (but in a much smaller dose---we have kind of gotten off track with our feelings and this has affected our body chemistry).  Adrenaline mixed with dopamine gives me the "high" that feels perfect with kundalini.  I also suspect that most addictions to opiates (which are dopamine mimics) and to speedy drugs like cocaine and amphetamines (which mimics the adrenaline) are the inner yearnings we have towards trying to find a balance of them in our bodies, a subconscious effort to bring about a balancing of them, and thus a craving for them.  I think this MIGHT work in the beginning of using such outside forms of the chemistry, but it quickly devolves as it almost always does with addiction into something that wrecks health and life.  We recognize this chemistry, but learning how to foster it in our bodies is the trick. Its very much like learning how to ride a surf board.  Not too much forward, not too much back.  You have to be in balance on this mighty wave.  Its a kind of way, very hard at first, for finding that balance point where through feeling (feelings are the catalyst for all our chemistry internally I feel), we are able to steer our own vessels into waters that were entirely unknown before all of this took place.

So let's think about fear for a moment.  Why do we have fear? And what does fear accomplish?  Most often fear is the result of something that has happened in your past that created a strong memory.  We all know that the event is in the past.  It is gone now, but we carry the fear into the present and even project it into the future.  This does two things. It takes us out of the present which is the point of all power and it also keeps us from meeting the world in a more direct way free from prejudicing it with fear.  The cycle of fear continues until the fear is either faced or let go.  Learning the art of surrender is a powerful way to stop the cycle of fear. But how do you do this? It takes some doing.  It takes being willing to relax in the moment and tell yourself that there is nothing you can do about the fear. Fear is from the past, not something in the present.  You are merely projecting it into now or some unknown future and it robs you of what resides in both. Tell yourself that there is nothing you can do about whatever you are fearing.  What happens if you feel fear but feel like it is so irrational that you do not know its source? The same. Tell yourself as you sit quietly breathing that there is nothing you can do about the fear except to let it go.  You tell yourself that you will, step by step, reduce your reliance on this frame of mind.

Breath in deeply and slowly and as you do imagine that you are breathing in nothing but the present.  You are not breathing in the past. Imagine that the air of the present is not touched by the past and that what you are breathing in is perfectly pure air free from all troubles. As you breathe in, imagine this pure air exchanging itself and as you breath out carbon dioxide, you are also ridding your body of a fine layer of fear.  With each breath, you are doing this.  As you think through the day, focus on your breathing.....and all you have to do is imagine this, image it in your mind. This type of practice is very powerful because we go where our thinking goes. If we can imagine a different outcome or condition, then this will eventually take hold. Its how we are. We are  like computers that get programmed. What you are doing is reprogramming yourself.  In order for this to work, you must work at it and give it time to work. The next type of breathing is very helpful and the most potent and it involves breathing in one nostril with a finger covering the other nostril for a number of breaths.  Four would be a good place to start.  Then switch to the other nostril and do that four times.  Do this as many times as you feel works for you.  it does a very good job of calming your mind. You see, your mind has been allowed to run this fear program for years, and now you are beginning to put that program to an end.

Relaxation CD's  have also been very helpful for me.  The best have been the ones where someone is simply guiding you with a minimal of other bells and whistles.  I used a CD for dealing with anxiety at the hardest point of my process.

Another very simple yet effective way of dealing with energy is to lie on the ground to help discharge it.  Another is simply surrender, a practice that will loosen your field up some and just allow all this energy to flow. If one area feels tight, it suggests there are knots there.  Kundalini can help to dissolve these, but it seems to work best when absent having any understanding of what the block is about. You do not need to consciously know all the time what these are. Allow yourself to be led. Consider knowing is not necessary.  Feeling will lead you there and using the mind can sometimes get in the way. The mind is not always the greatest tool for getting yourself around this. Surrender will tend to allow the flow to increase and also run more smoothly.  If it all feels too much, surrender more. This is the act of realizing what you are deeper down.  If this brings on anxiety, its most likely the presence of ego. The only way around this is to let the ego drift into the background. It can cause most problems especially early on. The phenomenon of "ego death" which I consider a misnomer, is a rearrangement of the ego within the self so that things function more smoothly.  Ego has been put front and center where it occupies the same space (kind of) as the essential self should.  Moving it out of the way will help immensely.  However, this can be a difficult process.  Some call it crushing, a kind of collapse of all kinds of artificial constructs that we thought were so important. But this is not the end, but the beginning. You will find great relief in letting the ego go.  This is why meditation can be so helpful because the ego has a tendency to drift back and away.  In sleep this happens in the normal course of dreaming, too.

Meditation can be helpful because of its naturally relaxing tendencies.  Allowing the self to quiet down and open so one can flow can be very helpful in coping with kundalini. Sometimes it can also make one feel less grounded, so you have to decide for yourself what works best.  I am of the mind that an increase in the energy is a positive thing, and the only problem lies in feeling safe with it. If the energy feels adversarial, it is best to realize that this is not coming from the energy but from you.  The energy is colored by this and it will seem it is true.  Removing the "problem" is the solution. Surrender.

I have used Chi Gong (also spelled Gung) during my process that helped a lot. Chi Gong means "energy work" and involves a very low impact physical workout.  It helps to move Chi in the body. I found it helped to dissolve blocks very effectively.  I spent close to a year going to these weekly classes that were held by a man who had learned White Crane Chi Gung that is part of the Shaolin tradition. I think it is good if you have a teacher who is calm and supportive.  You don't need someone yelling at you or barking orders. Ordering a DVD on this type of work could be good for a daily routine alone if need be.

Another aspect of healing blocks is shaking.  Many people will go into shaking fits when kundalini hits them. There is a reason for this.  The instinctual self repsonds to try and remove or make the way easier for the energy to move and shaking will do this.  This is just another form of movement.  People who reach ecstatic states most often do so with shaking and even jerky movements. There is a reason for this. It has a neurological, energetic, and physical basis. Do not feel funny about shaking or moving.  It is nature's way. Even vigorous dance will no doubt make you feel much better. Past trauma and hurt and other issues are lodged in the body on all levels and this shaking helps.  People who do energy work in the body find that by moving the body this can help release blockages.  Ida Rolf had a very aggressive form of deep tissue massage that she found helped to release old impacted emotional material.  You need someone who knows intuitively where to work on you in order to locate and then liberate your body of this material.  Shoulders and upper back can be a popular place for material to rest, but so can the abdomen, the hips, and other joints. Often people will lodge a lot of emotion at the location of an old injury. Anything lingering from than injury can often be found there.  It happened to me that I had emotional material lodged in my shoulder after an injury there.

Movement is something I am dealing with in my book Waking The Infinite, and in it I have observed through numerous traditions that movement, even ecstatic movement, serves an important function in the physiological connection to the effects that trauma has on the body.  As you awaken, I am sure you have discovered a whole new way of sensing energy.  Things are much more apparent in this way, and you feel through the energy body to the point where you can feel others around you.  You feel patterns of past trauma in others as energetic patterns that can be translated into etheric pain that gets referred to the body as well.  This is where extreme stomach tightness can occur, headaches, and pain in the heart or just about any other part of the body.  As a result, you can become more acutely aware of those issues you have in your own etheric body and which have become lodged also in your physical body since the etheric and physical feed perfectly into one another.

Something that can also help you is to simply use intention.  If you reach a place where you feel like you are all out of answers, if you feel like you can use this method, do.  Ask the universe to send you the resources that will serve your highest.  You do not need to know what this will present to you as.  You can also ask for more specific things like a teacher or assistant of some kind.  The more open you are to its coming in many different forms, the quicker it can happen.  This could come as a person or it could come in the form of a book or an experience or conversation with someone who mentions to you just what you need without your having ever mentioned it. If you have not yet experienced the power of this during awakening, it is time you tried.  It is known that there are these odd events called synchronicities that happen in greater number with those who are awakened. If you look up synchronicity on this blog there should be some examples of my own experiences with it. It does no good if you simply do not believe in it. The way for it to work is to hold the hope or wish as clearly in your mind as you can. Imagine how you wished for some toy as a child. Do you remember how excited you were when you wished like that as a child?  You need to do that and as you do, hold it only for a moment and then entirely let it go. Give it to the universe.  Don't hold onto it.  The energy has to do its work FOR you. It does no good to simultaneously wish and then feel like it can never happen because what you are doing is asking the universe not to give it to you. Its going to mirror you perfectly, so send the wish with as much hope and excitement as you can and let it go. Put your mind on other things and forget about it. I do this all the time and its as simple as making the wish and then not obsessing over it.

If I were to tell you how this has worked for me over the years, you might have a hard time believing it.  And yet, if you let yourself consider it as a possibility, you can see for yourself how you can begin to utilize this very powerful ally in your own journey.  You do not need to know how it will work.  If you ask for something that does not come it could be two things.  It could be you have a competing belief or it is somehow not right for you. I do not mean to say that it wont ever be right, but trust also that there might be other things more pressing that you have to get through. If you can feel a sense of trust in this vast power that will do what is best for you, it can open you up to just the right attitude that you need.  Consider being led.  Let your own will become the will of the universe.  Feel devotion to it, feel peace that everything will work out as it should.  You are small, and you may not be able to see the bigger picture.  This also does not mean that you should simply sit idly by for it to happen. Follow your instincts too. Make yourself ready or open by living your life.  Allow accidents to happen.  Follow a hunch. It does not always have to make sense.  I have made my greatest discoveries when I pulled a random book off a shelf or followed a completely odd urging in my head to go somewhere or do something.  These can be the things that can lead you to the resources that you didn't even know exist.

One of the single most effective stances during awakening is courage.  Being willing to meet every single skeleton in your closet and let it go is a powerful tool at your command.  This is important, at least in my experience because a very interesting things happens when you are sitting there at two in the morning aware that there is some great wall of menace bearing down on you as you sit in meditation; when you let yourself step into that wall of menacing blackness without fear, a very curious thing happens; the fear is transformed into a sense of buoyancy, even of bliss.  What you thought one moment was the end of you was in truth a new beginning.  Whenever I have stepped into the unknown in this way, the very nature of the thing before me changed.  What once was like a giant dragon became a small mouse.  I laugh; over and over I seem to have to relearn this!  My goodness!  So in the beginning of awakening, you might be faced with something that might paralyze you with fear, but in that moment be brave and ask yourself; are you going to die from some faceless fear?  Will this REALLY be the end of you or your ego or identity?   I think of that old scratchy recording of FDR saying "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" I smile because you know, he was right!  Its the FEAR that is the problem.  Once it is gone, most challenges tend to pale in comparison.  Your faceless fear (okay, so let's say it has a face....its still being driven by fear after consider that) can morph and change into anything because it really is beyond all reality.  By facing it, you bring it into reality and realize that the REALITY is that within you is this divine creature seeking to emerge (really!!).  Try it sometime, and I think you will see what I mean.  You are actually in the process of shedding layers and for a time these layers might project themselves against the wall of your fear and make you concerned.  But I encourage you to take courage.  Believe in yourself.  Be easy on yourself.  yes, we have all fallen short, yes we have all done things we are not proud of.  If you must seek forgiveness or confess, then do so.  Do what you need to do to reach  a place where you feel right with the world.  Piercing the depths of our own ignorance and fear is one of the single most laudable acts a soul can make here on this planet!

See, when we fear something, the fear itself serves as an attractant for whatever that vibration is of that thing that is upsetting or dogging you.  You are like velcro inside with loops custom made for whatever that thing is that is upsetting you.  Your job is to let go of it, and when you do, all those little loops just relax and it just slips away.  Its very much like this!  By changing your own inner energetics, you make it to these things that were drawn to you or that still hang around you to just go away.  This is so for old hurt or trauma, to people in your life to even etheric critters that might show up to give you a scare. Like attracts like....and it might only be a fragment of like that is in you, but you really do have to let go and the rest will slip away.  Layer by layer you will go at this, so do not be surprised that when you clear your heart center one time, you wind up going back to it a year or two later for deeper clearings.  Its almost like dimensions within your energy field.  the Hindus, I have come to learn call these Etheric Sheaths (and I have a post on these, so you can search using that term and find the post).  Its like you go from one dimension within one chakra center only to find that you emerge into another world within that chakra, and then another and another.  This I think will take some time, and do not be concerned about it, because once you get to that point, you WILL be in a much better place (its all a process, layer by layer....).  So don't feel defeated if you make a big release only to find yourself having another in the same place.  It wasn't that you didn't do it completely or somehow failed at it, you certainly DID release material, there was just more of a different vibration.  It might be a smidge of something at the first level that has to be flushed or it might be a block deeper down.  Be easy on yourself.  Keep your perspective!  And when worse comes to worse, don't forget to laugh!  I mean it!  Don't get to serious!  Ego loves serious, and you need to keep the bugger at bay.  And when we laugh, we most often tend to put things back int perspective:  "Oh my goodness!  I was so serious about that big knot in my chest!  Now that its gone, I see it wasn't such a big deal as I made it out to be!"  Just go easy on yourself, okay?  And if you can't do that, realize that you are here at a time when the vibration on the earth is changing and its changing in part due to YOU and thousands, perhaps even millions like you in an event that is unlike another in history (hows that for revving your ego engine?) which is that there are more people now having spontaneous awakenings than at any other time in recorded history!  I think that is pretty awesome, don't you?  What does it mean?  Well....that's for another day.  For now, chop wood, haul water!

I am a firm believer that as you seek, so shall you find. Doors will be opened to you as you ask for them in the right way.  Believing in the possibility but not dwelling on it or anticipating their happening has always been the best key to their happening. In this way, they feel entirely effortless, and this is I think the whole point. Things can be much easier if you let them. If something is tripping you up, maybe some pain in your field is resulting in fear or hurt.  Maybe through movement or a simple act of forgiveness, you allow some long lost issue to simply drop away, one that had gone past its due date.  And as it does, the hurt resolves into its opposite, which is joy.  And love.  Being able to do this kind of work for ourselves is a profound act of love towards the self, the soul.  it seeks to make YOU right before trying to make the world right. Since the world IS inside of you, getting better inside you is a fabulous and very healthy way to find authentic happiness and fulfillment.
I hope you find the magic that is your own soul peering back at you through these marvelous events that are great gifts!

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